Greater Vancouver Real Estate Blog
Our blog features original content and news covering the areas our team lives and works in – New Westminster, Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, and Vancouver. We cover a range of topics from news, for Buyers and Sellers such as buying your first home, winning in a multiple offer, improving curb appeal when selling and buying an investment property.
Overpricing your home-you might be missing buyers?
The Real Estate market, in the lower mainland and fraser valley, has been so busy in recent times. Home buyers are becoming accustomed to bidding wars and multiple offers. This often resulting in the price being driven up over the asking price. Tired of heartbreak? Many buyers are skipping out on listings priced at the top of their budget for fear if a bidding war ensues they won’t be able to compete.
It seems counter-intuitive for many home sellers to set their price at the minimum level they would be willing to accept. But being bold with a very sharp price might be what it takes to make sure buyers are taking your posting seriously. Buyers have become so sensitive to prices that have been rapidly rising for many years. Buyers don’t even want to look at what they feel they can’t afford. This is a radical change from how buyers were shopping 5 years ago!
In the past buyers would expect to negotiate the price down of the property they were interested in purchasing. Therefore would end up searching up higher than they would consider paying. On the other hand sellers would typically set their price accordingly higher than they would expect to settle for.
Real Estate market trends change frequently. It’s important to work with an agent that understands the current market and can support you through your transaction. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we are here to help!
Understanding BC E-Value and your BC Assessment
Homeowners are familiar with the BC assessment notice arriving in their mail in January but what does the E-Value mean to you?
BC assessment was established as the provincial standard, for each city town and municipality, to use as a baseline to calculate property taxes. But your E-Value may not accurately reflect the current amount you could sell your home for. Property taxes are charged to home owners annually and BC assessment does a value estimate once per year.
Time of year can affect how accurate your BC Assessment is
Values with BC Assessment and your E-value are assigned as of July 1st of the previous year. As you might have guessed, the real estate market could change a lot. Possibly during the months between when the value is assigned and the time you receive your notice in the mail.
Condition of your home and property
Another factor in your BC assessment is the majority of homes being assessed are not personally visited by the provincial appraisers. BC assessment may have no idea you have done value adding renovations. Renovations such as equipping a brand new chef’s dream kitchen or transforming your yard into a gardener’s paradise. The home improvements could add actual value. If you were to sell your home this would not be reflected in your E-Value unless you sent an update statement in to let them know.
Wondering how accurate your E-Value is get in touch today! Our value estimates are always free of charge!
Selling your own home for sale by owner
The Real Estate Services act was created in the 1950’s. Since then home sellers and buyers in BC have had the option to hire a licensed realtor. But what if you don’t want a real estate agent?
Sale by Owner
Selling your own home, for sale by owner, seems straightforward. But be careful the province has very strict laws for unlicensed individuals who try to sell real estate on behalf of others. The original laws were set in place to protect the public in such an important transaction. Homes and lands requiring sales people of real estate to obtain a license, be subject to government oversight and to enroll in mandatory errors and omissions insurance. Again all put in place to support and protect consumers.
When it comes to selling a property you own yourself privately. The province does not have any standard forms other than the land registry documents. Which are to be filed at the time of sale. In essence if a homeowner had a secure buyer they could go into the land titles office and exchange money for title to the property. This is often the case for close family members who are “selling” or “gifting” a property to a spouse, child or sibling.
A simple title for money transaction can become complicated. If the buyer and seller are relative strangers and aside from factors of personal and financial trust. Without the layers of government agency protection and standard forms to work with. It would be very challenging for one party to make sure the other was valid. For example the buyer did not deliver the money as promised on the schedule transfer day. Or the seller changed their mind and did not come in to complete the transfer as promised.
Aside from the technical aspects of transferring title there is the broad subject of marketing your private for sale by owner property to reach potential buyers. Many home buyers are very nervous about purchasing a home without the guidance of a realtor. A service that is often covered by the sellers real estate listing fees. Or can’t afford to pay their buyers agent out of pocket for their services.
You don’t have to DIY the sale of your home. Call today for a free no obligation consultation. Let’s see if working with us may be of benefit to you.
Leaving the lower mainland
Affordability in both the ownership and rental market are on many people’s minds as we move into 2018. Recent times have shown unprecedented growth in property values. In previous years I would meet many more people who would like to stay in the same area. Both for selling and buying but the price gap for many buyers is growing increasingly wider between what they own and what they want to move up to.
A condo owner moving from a one to a two bedroom condo similar in age and location. Let’s say in an average neighborhood might expect to pay 40% more for the extra square footage and extra bedroom. 5 or 10 years ago that extra 40% would translate to about and extra $50,000 in the purchase price. But in today’s market prices that same 40% looks more like $100,000.
The increased pricing gap has put many owners in a position where they can’t financially take the next step. They are looking for alternatives.
Some popular search areas for buyers looking to leave the lower mainland but still remain as local as possible are Mission, Chilliwack and Abbotsford. The outlying areas of the Okanagan and Vancouver Island and many are even considering going beyond the provincial borders to Alberta. To communities like Calgary and Edmonton.
If you are considering selling your home in New West, Vancouver, Burnaby, or the Tri-Cities. To relocate outside of the lower mainland. We can definitely help with that! And connect you with a good trustworthy agent to help you search for your next space. We have wonderful partners who work in Victoria, Nanoose, Parksville-Qualicum, Coldstream, Calgary and Edmonton just to name a few!
Selling or Buying a home, for sale by owner
Selling a home
For sale by owner used to be more common, but, with the real estate market moving at a feverish pace, many sellers are choosing to sell on the regulated open market rather than doing it on their own. Someone selling their home this way benefits from increased exposure. A seller also has the added assurance that comes from being a part of a system with check and balances. Despite this, some owners still chose to sell it off-market.
So, what happens when a buyer finds a private sale or off-market purchase?
Buying a home
If you are looking to buy a for sale by owner, you could go to the owner personally or you could hire a realtor to represent you. Some for sale by owners will even cover the costs of the buyer bringing their own agent, while others will require that the sale remain private.
Insurance and laws
One big concern for many buyers with off-market property transactions is the lack of disclosure requirements and the lack of coverage by the provincial errors and omissions insurance which may cover you in the event a licensed Realtor makes a mistake. It is important to remember that the laws, oversight, and insurance that apply and protect you when you use a provincially licensed REALTOR® do not apply to an owner selling privately.
If you are considering for sale by owner as a possibility when buying a home, why not get in touch with us to see what we can offer in our buyer’s representation package?
Finding a Good Real Estate Agent
You might be surprised to learn marketing sets and compensation models are non-standardized within the local real estate industry. In fact the Canadian Competition Bureau forbids it! The CCB requires each realtor to develop their unique package of services and rates. A realtors service license might not tell you much about the quality or type of services they provide. All agents whether they are, residential, commercial, part time, full time, top 10% or a posting only group hold the same BC license to sell real estate.
A lot of home sellers and buyers make the mistake of assuming all licensed realtors are the same. When in reality nothing could be further from the truth. When selecting a realtor think about what is most important to you. Each agent brings unique and different client service strategy to the table.
Some common points to consider:
Are you looking for a long term trusted advisor or a quick transaction with the cheapest fees?
Do you want a big team where you are always talking to different members or a single point of contact with an exclusive agent?
Do you want a specialist who only works in your niche or small geographical area or a generalist who spans territory beyond your area of interest and may help you in areas you had not previously considered?
Each scenario has its pros and cons.These were a few examples of questions we encourage home buyers and sellers to ask themselves before they start interviewing real estate agents.
Your realtor is your choice. It would be impossible to think a single agent or business model could be best suited to serve every client. If there is any doubt in your mind you haven’t picked the right agent it can’t hurt to get a second opinion. Which ever realtor best suites your personal preference, one thing is for sure, the realtor population is just as diverse as the clients that hire them!
We offer initial consultations and opinions of value free of charge! Call today to book your appointment!